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Mission

The Harvard University South Asia Institute (SAI) engages faculty and students through interdisciplinary programs to advance and deepen the teaching and research on global issues relevant to South Asia. 

About SAI | View the South Asia Institute video 

Upcoming Events


Thu, September 18, 2014 at 06:00pm  /  CGIS South, S020 Belfer

Film Screening: Bawandar

SAI Film Screening

Based on a true story that sent shock waves through India in 1992, this drama concerns Sanwari (Nandita Das), a lower-caste woman with a husband, Sohan (Raghuvir Yadav), and two children, who is raising her family in a rural village. While it’s generally Sanwari’s nature to mind her own business and take care of her family, when she sees a neighbor woman being mistreated by an man from the city’s upper caste, Sanwari is outraged and speaks out in public about the incident. Shobha (Deepti Naval), a social worker, is impressed by Sanwari’s conviction and hires her as an assistant as the Indian government begins implementing a program to give greater rights and protection to Indian women. While she’s timid at first, Sanwari soon comes to value her work as a feminist activist, but as she becomes more outspoken against sexism and abuse of caste position, she earns the enmity of many powerful men in the community. First Sanwari and her family are shunned by the local leaders, and then a group of men from the town’s leadership take their revenge by subjecting Sanwari first to a savage beating and then to a gang rape. Sanwari, Shobha, and Sohan refuse to be intimidated or silenced, and when the local leadership refuses to bring Sanwari’s attackers to justice, they bring the crime to the attention of the national media, leading people across the country to demand justice for Sanwari — and for women all over India.

Cosponsored by the Harvard India Student Group

START
Thu, Sep 18, 2014 at 06:00pm

END
Thu, Sep 18, 2014

VENUE
CGIS South, S020 Belfer
Harvard University

ADDRESS
1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge MA 02138

Fri, September 19, 2014 from 05:00pm - 06:30pm  /  Plimpton Room, Barker Center

The Role of Arts in Social Change

Gender and Arts at SAI Seminar

Nandita Das, Actor, Director, and Advocate of Social Issues

Cara Moyer-Duncan, Assistant Professor, Africana Studies, Institute for Liberal Arts & Interdisciplinary Studies, Emerson College

Moderator: Mukti KhaireAssociate Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School

Nandita Das is known to world audiences for her critically acclaimed performances as an actor in films like Fire, Earth, Bawander, and Before the Rains. Das will speak on her work that addresses social issues in the South Asia context, with particular focus on gender issues.

Cara Moyer-Duncan was a Visiting Scholar at the University of Cape Town’s Centre for African Studies while completing field research. Her work is on culture, art, and social change, with a particular focus on Africa.

Please also consider attending the Film Screening of Bawandar on Thursday, Sept. 18 at 6:00PM.

This is the inaugural event of the Arts Initiative at SAI, which connects with artists who use art as a medium to communicate intractable social issues that impact South Asia.

Co-sponsored by the Arts and Social Justice Program, the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, and the Cultural and Humanitarian Agents seminar at the Mahindra Center for the Humanities.

START
Fri, Sep 19, 2014 at 05:00pm

END
Fri, Sep 19, 2014 at 06:30pm

VENUE
Plimpton Room, Barker Center 113

ADDRESS
12 Quincy St, Cambridge, MA 02138

Sat, September 20, 2014 at 07:00pm  /  Paine Hall

Legends of India: Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan and Pandit Anindo Chatterjee

The SPK Academy, the LearnQuest Academy of Music and the Harvard South Asia Institute are excited to present an Indian Classical music concert by two world renowned musicians: sitar maestro Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan and tabla maestro Pandit Anindo Chatterjee. The on-stage chemistry between these musical virtuosos is simply electrifying and their performances always take Indian Classical music to new heights. Join the many passionate fans of these two living legends of India for an inspiring and memorable evening of music.

Co-Sponsored with Shahid Parvez Khan Academy and Learnquest Academy

Doors open at 6:15PM. Pre-purchased ticket prices: $55, $35, $10 (students). At the door: $60, $40, $15 (students). Available at the Harvard Box Office website.

START
Sat, Sep 20, 2014 at 07:00pm

END
Sat, Sep 20, 2014

VENUE
Paine Hall

ADDRESS
Behind 1 Oxford Street, Music Building, Cambridge, MA

Tue, September 23, 2014 from 04:00pm - 05:30pm  /  CGIS South, S050

Princes of the Mughal Empire

Muslim Societies in South Asia Seminar

Munis Faruqui, Associate Professor, Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies, University of California Berkeley

Chair: Ali Asani, Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures, Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences; Director, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program

For almost 200 years, the Mughal emperors ruled supreme in northern India. How was it possible that a Muslim, ethnically Turkish, Persian-speaking dynasty established itself in the Indian subcontinent to become one of the largest and most dynamic empires in the early-modern period? Using the figure of the Mughal prince, Munis D. Faruqui offers a new interpretive lens through which to comprehend Mughal state formation. In a challenge to previous scholarship, Prof. Faruqui’s work suggests that far from undermining the foundations of empire, the court intrigues and political backbiting that were features of Mughal political life – and that frequently resulted in rebellions and wars of succession – actually helped spread, deepen, and mobilize Mughal power through an empire-wide network of friends and allies. Ultimately, however, because Mughal imperial and princely success were interlinked when both experienced political stress in the late 1600s and early 1700s, they atrophied together with negative results for the empire.

Cosponsored by the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program

START
Tue, Sep 23, 2014 at 04:00pm

END
Tue, Sep 23, 2014 at 05:30pm

VENUE
CGIS South, S050
Harvard University

ADDRESS
1730 Cambridge Street
Cambridge MA

Thu, September 25, 2014 at 04:30pm  /  CGIS South, S050

The Edges and Beyond: Shedding Light on Shangri La

Closing seminar and reception

Kevin Bubriski, Documentary Photographer; Director of Documentary Studies, Green Mountain College; 2010-2011 Robert Gardner Visiting Artist, Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology

Discussants: Professor Frank J. Korom, Professor of Religion and Anthropology, Boston University

Professor Jinah Kim, Assistant Professor of History of Art and Architecture, South and Southeast Asia, Harvard University

Co-sponsored by the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology, the Harvard University Asia Center, and the South Asia Institute

 

 

START
Thu, Sep 25, 2014 at 04:30pm

END
Thu, Sep 25, 2014

VENUE
CGIS South, S050
Harvard University

ADDRESS
1730 Cambridge Street
Cambridge MA

Tue, September 30, 2014 from 04:00pm - 05:30pm  /  CGIS South, S250

The future of Indian Higher Education: Four case studies

Education Seminar

Pramath Raj Sinha, Founding Dean of the Indian School of Business and a founder of Ashoka University

Chair: Akshay Mangla, Assistant Professor, Harvard Business School

Everyone knows Indian Higher Education is a mess. Proposals for its transformation abound, but things continue to go from bad to worse. Despite the doom and gloom, there are several recent experiments that attempt to challenge the status quo and set an example. This talk is a first-hand account of building new and transforming existing higher education institutions in India.

Cosponsored with the International Education Policy Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Eductation

START
Tue, Sep 30, 2014 at 04:00pm

END
Tue, Sep 30, 2014 at 05:30pm

VENUE
CGIS South, S250
Harvard University

ADDRESS
1730 Cambridge Street
Cambridge MA

    Tue, September 30, 2014 at 04:30pm  /  Allison Dining Room, Harvard Kennedy School

    Climate Change Diplomacy: The Road to Paris 2015

    Science, Technology and Energy Seminar

    Jairam Ramesh, Economist, Member of the Indian National Congress, Fisher Family Fellow, Harvard Kennedy School

    Ramesh is a Fisher Family Fellow with the Future of Diplomacy Project and a leader in international climate negotiations. A Member of Parliament from Andhra Pradesh, Ramesh was chief negotiator for India at the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Copenhagen, Denmark, between 7 to 18 December 2009. He has been a leading figure in international climate diplomacy for years.

    Ramesh was the Union Cabinet Minister for Rural Development under Prime Minister Singh from 2011-2014. Previously, he was named Union Cabinet Minister for Rural Development, Drinking Water and Sanitation in 2011. He held numerous high-level government posts, including the Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests from 2009-2011; Union Minister of State for Commerce and Power from 2008-2009 and Union Minister of State for Commerce from 2006-2009.

    In the 1980s and 1990s he served in a number of high-ranking advisory roles in various government ministries, including as Adviser to the Finance Minister and Economic Adviser in the Ministry of Industry.

    A prolific writer and analytical thinker, Minister Ramesh wrote columns for the Telegraph and for India Today among a number of other publications for years. He has published books on US-India relations and on the effects of globalization on India.

    Cosponsored with the The Future of Diplomacy Project at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School and the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements

    START
    Tue, Sep 30, 2014 at 04:30pm

    END
    Tue, Sep 30, 2014

    VENUE
    Allison Dining Room, 5th Floor Taubman Building, Harvard Kennedy School

    ADDRESS
    Allison Dining Room, 5th Floor Taubman Building, 79 John F. Kennedy St, Cambridge, MA 02138

    Mon, October 6, 2014 from 06:30pm - 08:00pm  /  CGIS South, S050

    Healing Bodies, Healing Spaces: Understanding Urban Religiosity in Contemporary India

    Urbanization Seminar

    Smriti Srinivas, Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of California, Davis

    Chair: Rahul Mehrotra, Professor of Urban Design and Planning and Chair of the Department of Urban Planning and Design, Harvard Graduate School of Design

    Cosponsored by the Harvard University Social Anthropology Colloquium

    This presentation seeks to understand the ethnographic and analytical registers of contemporary urban religiosity in India. Grounded spatially in Professor Srinivas’ long-term research in Bangalore, India’s “Silicon Valley” of nearly nine million people, it discusses what Srinivas calls the “sacrality of urban sprawl,” i.e. the fact that cities and their expanding boundaries (whether suburban, exurban, or peri-urban) are important arenas for the recruitment of devotees, the construction of habitats to house the religious, new spiritual maps, and ideas of selfhood.

    An exploration of the strata and groups who inhabit these spaces is not the main focus of this paper. It is clear, however, that most could be seen as constituting the “new middle class” that represents and lays claim to the benefits of liberalization. Srinivas tries to show that in addition to consumption patterns and lifestyles, new norms of (religious) selfhood are crucial to the production of their identity. Further, while much attention in recent years has been paid to ideologies and displays of religious nationalisms, fundamentalisms and violence in urban areas, Srinivas draws attention in this paper instead to other maps, sensibilities, and architectures of religiosity.

    Dr. Smriti Srinivas is Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of California, Davis. She received her PhD. from the Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi (1995). Her research and teaching interests include urban cultures, place-making, utopias, social memory, cultures of the body and performance, religion, South Asia within a comparative context.

    START
    Mon, Oct 6, 2014 at 06:30pm

    END
    Mon, Oct 6, 2014 at 08:00pm

    VENUE
    CGIS South, S050
    Harvard University

    ADDRESS
    1730 Cambridge Street
    Cambridge MA

      Announcements


      Job Opportunity for South Asia Interested Seniors

      Each year, the Mahindra group recruits five – seven Ivy League graduates to work in India for two years in our Group Strategy Office. These recruits, known as Global Recruits, improve our cultural fluency, spread our name internationally and bring new perspectives to the table that expand our creativity and globalize our outlook.